Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #200967

Title: Sol-gel immobilized luciferase-based ATP biosensor for meat quality determination in postmortem pig muscle

item Bowker, Brian

Submitted to: International Congress of Meat Science and Technology Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2006
Publication Date: 8/14/2006
Citation: Weaver, A.D., Jedlicka, S.S., Rickus, J.L., Bowker, B.C., Gerrard, D.E. 2006. Sol-gel immobilized luciferase-based ATP biosensor for meat quality determination in postmortem pig muscle. International Congress of Meat Science and Technology Proceedings. p. 279-280. August 13-18, 2006, Dublin, Ireland.

Interpretive Summary: The rate of postmortem muscle metabolism in pork carcasses influences meat quality. A luciferase assay was used to demonstrate that postmortem ATP levels in pork carcasses are correlated to fresh pork quality measurements. Additionally, a silica-based luciferase biosensor probe to measure ATP was developed and found to detect differences in pork carcasses undergoing different rates of postmortem metabolism. These results suggest that an optical biosensor for ATP may be a potential tool for rapidly testing pork quality.

Technical Abstract: Inferior pork quality results from a rapid rate of muscle metabolism that is stimulated by ATP depletion early postmortem. The objectives of this study were 1) to test the hypothesis that muscle ATP as measured by a luciferase assay could be used for predicting fresh pork quality, and 2) to explore the use of a silica immobilized luciferase-based optical biosensor in monitoring muscle metabolism postmortem. In experiment 1, carcasses from ten crossbred pigs (120 kg) were subjected to varying intensities of electrical stimulation at 10 min postmortem to simulate adverse pork quality development. At 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 min and 24 h postmortem, muscle exudates were sampled and immediately subjected to a luciferase assay to measure luminescence. At 24 h postmortem pork quality characteristics were measured. In experiment 2, an optical, silica-based luciferase biosensor probe was developed and tested on the carcasses of five crossbred pigs. One side of each carcass was electrically stimulated at 30 min postmortem. The longissimus muscle of each side was probed immediately prior to and after stimulation and hourly up to 4 h postmortem. Experiment 1 showed that luminescence in postmortem exudates correlated with fresh pork color and firmness scores (0.79 and 0.89, respectively) at 24 h postmortem. Experiment 2 demonstrated that luciferase probes recorded a decrease in ATP generated luminescence over time postmortem. Differences in the luciferase-based luminescence were observed early (<1 h) postmortem between electrically stimulated and control sides. These data suggest that ATP levels postmortem are useful predictors of pork quality and that the ability of the optical biosensor for ATP to detect changes in postmortem muscle tissue demonstrates its potential as a tool for rapid meat quality testing.